Global recession timeline

How did the credit crunch at the end of 2007 become a full financial meltdown by the middle of 2008, and finally turn into a global recession?

This interactive timeline highlights key dates in the financial collapse and helps you find the original reports of the events as they happened. You can see the BBC's full coverage of the anniversary of the global financial meltdown here

Click on an event on the timeline

HSBC

8 February 2007: HSBC WARNS OF SUBPRIME LOSSES


HSBC reveals huge losses at its US mortgage arm Household Finance due to subprime losses, in one of the first signs that the US housing market is turning sour, and that it could have a knock-on effect on the global financial sector. Full story

New Century

2 April 2007: NEW CENTURY GOES BUST


New Century Financial, a leading subprime lender, files for bankruptcy. It is the first signal that something is seriously amiss at US mortgage lenders. Shares in other US mortgages banks like Countrywide come under pressure. Full story

Credit Markets Freeze

9 August 2007: CREDIT MARKETS FREEZE


Credit markets go into freefall after Paribas announces that two of its hedge funds are frozen due to "complete evaporation of liquidity" in asset backed security market. European Central Bank injects 170bn euros into the banking market and Fed lowers interest rates. Bank of England refuses to intervene in credit markets. Full story

14 September 2007: RUN ON THE ROCK


Savers in beleaguered UK former building society Northern Rock begin withdrawing their savings after the BBC reveals the bank has received emergency financial support from the Bank of England. Northern Rock is in trouble as it was heavily reliant on the wholesale money market to fund its operations, and these markets have dried up. Full story

Bear Stearn

17 March 2008: BEAR STEARNS RESCUE


US investment bank Bear Stearns is rescued by rival bank JP Morgan Chase after the US government provides a $30bn guarantee against its mounting losses. It is the first sign that, rather than easing, the financial crisis is getting worse but investors are relieved that US government prepared to act as lender of last resort. Full story

Fannie Mae Rescue

7 September 2008: FANNIE MAE RESCUE


US government rescues giant mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taking them into temporary public ownership after they reveal huge losses on the US subprime mortgage market. Their failure would have triggered a run on the dollar as many foreign governments had invested in their bonds, believing they were already guaranteed by the government. Full story

15 September 2008: LEHMAN BROTHERS GOES BANKRUPT


US investment bank Lehman Brothers goes bankrupt after the US government refuses to bail it out. Merrill Lynch is bought by Bank of America after revealing it also is facing huge losses. Insurance firm AIG, which issued credit guarantees for subprime mortgages, is rescued the next day with an $85bn loan from US Treasury. Full story

HBOS Takeover

17 September 2008: LLOYDS TAKES OVER HBOS


Lloyds agrees a 12.2bn takeover of the ailing Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS), the UK's largest mortgage lender, after its shares plummet amid concerns over the firm's future. The UK government invokes a national interest clause to bypass competition law, as the new bank is responsible for close to one-third of the UK's savings and mortgage market. Full story

3 October 2008: $700BN BAILOUT APPROVED BY CONGRESS


The biggest financial rescue in US history is approved after a gruelling debate in Congress, and initial defeat a week earlier. Republicans and Democrats alike were reluctant to bail out the banks with such large sums while ordinary citizens were suffering in the recession. Both presidential candidates endorse the bail-out. Full story

13 October 2008: UK GOVERNMENT RESCUES RBS AND LLOYDS-HBOS


Two of the UK's major banks, RBS and HBOS, are in major trouble as financial markets collapse. Having merged with HBOS in September, Lloyds is hit by the huge debts built up by its new partner in the mortgage market, while RBS is struggling with its expensive merger with ABN-AMRO. The UK government injects 37bn to stabilise both banks. Full story

Fed cuts key rate

16 December 2008: FED CUTS KEY RATE TO NEAR ZERO


The US central bank cuts its interest rate to 0 - 0.25% in an attempt to stem the deepening recession, and begins to consider a programme of quantitative easing to throw money into the economy to help make borrowing easier. It is the lowest interest in the history of the Fed. Full story

14 February 2009: US CONGRESS PASSES $787BN STIMULUS


President Obama wins his first major victory in Congress as it passes a huge economic recovery plan aimed at preventing the US falling into recession as a result of the credit crunch. Much of the money will go to the states to prevent them laying off public sector workers, but some will be invested in infrastructure projects like roads, schools and green energy. Full story

2 April 2009: G20 SUMMIT IN LONDON


World leaders pledge an additional $1.1 trillion to help emerging market countries and promise coordinated action to fight the slump and improve regulation. Gordon Brown emerges triumphant from a global summit, which he claims is a turning point in the crisis, and stock markets begin to revive. However, not all the money pledged is actually delivered. Full story

UK budget

22 April 2009: UK BUDGET REVEALS HUGE DEFICIT


The UK Chancellor Alistair Darling reveals that the credit crunch will lead to the largest budget deficit in UK financial history of 175bn, with total government debt set to double to 1 trillion by 2014. Mr Darling admits it will take two Parliaments, or 10 years to get the budget back to the position it was in before the credit crunch. Full story

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